World US penalises three ‘hackers for hire’ working for UAE firm
China Spies Were Behind Massive Microsoft Hack That Hit Tens of Thousands of American Companies, Says U.S.
The Biden Administration and several allies plan to allege Monday morning that China’s civilian intelligence service is responsible for a sweeping hacking campaign that hit tens of thousands of companies around the world earlier this year. According to a senior Biden administration official, hackers affiliated with China’s Ministry of State Security (MSS) conducted the massive operation, which took advantage of security flaws in Microsoft Exchange Server software, or Microsoft’s email software. The attack was so widespread that the White House National Security Council at the time whipped up an emergency response group to address the offensive. The U.S.
Three “hackers-for-hire” working for a company in the United Arab Emirates “for the benefit” of the government in Abu Dhabi have agreed to pay $1.68m in penalties as part of a legal settlement in the United States, the US.
The suspects, two US citizens and one former American citizen, provided “zero-click” computer hacking services to the UAE company “that could compromise a device without any action by the target”, the Justice Department said in a statement on Tuesday.
Ex-US intelligence officers admit hacking for UAE
The three men allegedly helped a UAE-based firm break into computers and phones around the world. There was no immediate comment from the men or Emirati officials.Earlier this year, the UAE was accused of using malware from the Israeli company NSO Group to spy on journalists, dissidents and rival governments.
It identified the individuals as Marc Baier, 49, Ryan Adams, 34, and Daniel Gericke, the former US citizen, age 40. US law allows Americans to renounce their citizenship.
All three previously worked for the US intelligence community or the US military, according to the Justice Department.
The deal, known as a “deferred prosecution agreement”, will see the defendants evade criminal charges if they abide by its terms.
“Hackers-for-hire and those who otherwise support such activities in violation of US law should fully expect to be prosecuted for their criminal conduct,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Mark Lesko said in the statement.
“Left unregulated, the proliferation of offensive cyber capabilities undermines privacy and security worldwide.”
UAE, Israel eye trillion-dollar prize one year into Abraham Accords
The United Arab Emirates marks one year since normalising ties with Israel on Wednesday, a move which drew Palestinian anger but that leaders hope could reap a trillion dollars in economic exchanges. Watched by then US president Donald Trump, the UAE and Gulf neighbour Bahrain formally recognised Israel on September 15, 2020 in Washington, prompting Palestinian accusations of a "stab in the back". The surprise step, under the US-brokered Abraham Accords, broke with decades of Arab consensus that ruled out formal ties while the Palestinian conflict was unresolved.
The UAE embassy in Washington, DC, did not immediately respond to Al Jazeera’s request for comment on Tuesday evening.
The Justice Department said it repeatedly warned the trio that their work falls under defence services that require special licensing by the US government. For its part, the FBI promised to crack down on Americans providing hacking services illegally.
“The FBI will fully investigate individuals and companies that profit from illegal criminal cyber activity,” Bryan Vorndran, assistant director at the FBI’s cyber division, said in the statement.
“This is a clear message to anybody, including former US government employees, who had considered using cyberspace to leverage export-controlled information for the benefit of a foreign government or a foreign commercial company – there is risk, and there will be consequences.”
The Reuters news agency reported that Baier, Adams and Gericke worked as part of a covert unit called Project Raven that helped the UAE spy on its foes across the world.
UAE rebuffs plan by OPEC, allies to extend production pact
UAE energy ministry says OPEC+ proposal to extend pact to cut oil production until end of 2022 is ‘unfair’.The Emirati Ministry of Energy called the proposal to extend the agreement for the entirety of 2022 without raising its production quota “unfair to the UAE,” according to the state-run news agency WAM.
Baier, a former official at the US National Security Agency (NSA), was the manager of Project Raven, according to athat first revealed the existence of the hacking unit.
Baier will pay the largest share of the fine – $750,000, according to the Justice Department – while Adams and Gericke will pay $600,000 and $335,000, respectively. All three have also agreed to give up any US or foreign security clearances and fully cooperate with the FBI.
The UAE has faced criticism from human rights groups for the use of hacking against its perceived opponents, including journalists and.
A joint investigation by several media outlets revealed earlier this year that many phone numbers potentially targeted by Pegasus, a spyware programme made by Israeli private firm NSO Group, were linked to the UAE.
The UAE denied the allegations about using Pegasus at the time, saying that they have “no evidentiary basis”.
UAE set to host 2021 T20 World Cup as India pull out over Covid fears .
UAE has been the back-up venue for the 16-team event; 'We will inform the (governing body) International Cricket Council soon,' Indian cricket board treasurer Arun Singh Dhumal said. © Provided by Daily Mail ( © Provided by Daily Mail ( On Monday India reported 46,148 new COVID-19 infections over the past 24 hours, data from the health ministry showed.Figures also stated that India's total COVID-19 case load now stands at 30.27 million, while total fatalities are at 396,730.